My Story

For the creative within you who loves to be inspired.

Are you stuck on the same track of thinking you don’t have anything original to create? I get it, it took me a long time to get to here, sharing my story, creating art to inspire you. I’m telling you this because I’ve told myself every excuse in the book, as I’m sure you have. What helps me “get out there” is remembering this: no one has your voice, your experience, and your unique story. And what you create comes from that. Your people relate to you because of your point of view. That’s what you’re here for on this planet: to create connection. Someone out there needs to hear it from you. That’s why I share my experience, to inspire you.

Hey, I’m Stephanie Lee Somerville, LMT & Multipassionate Entrepreneur. I’m an Institute for Massage Education(IME) Alumni and am Licensed under healthcare. I Love muscles and feeling them relax with massage therapy. I teach Anatomy and Physiology, Adaptive Massage, and oversee Student Clinic at IME. I own my own Massage Therapy practice, Unwinding movement: Massage & bodywork. I create and sell Abstract flow paintings. I host pour painting workshops, and attend art shows with my work.

Now for the why: When I was a baby, I was diagnosed with a strawberry hemangioma. A big word for a giant sack of blood puffing out off my face and right ear. Usually birthmarks don’t grow, mine reeeaaally wanted to be seen. So there I was age 1 with a giant red blob drooping into my right eye, my nostrils, and my right ear canal making headlines in medical journals. Cute right? It took me a while to think so. I’ve always been in touch with my dramatic side, even as a youngin’ so this next part only came as a shock as it was happening. My birthmark started hemorrhaging- a big word for bleeding out. Imagine spurts of blood shooting from my face like the Stravinsky fountain in Paris every time I cried. Which was the whole way to the hospital.(BTW it’s worth looking up if you don’t know what that fountain looks like.). I cried until a moment when I stopped crying and my mom thought I died in her arms. Here’s where I get esoteric. For good reason. A part of me believes that since I was so close to the other side, I gained inherent wisdom that I carry with me to this day. Wisdom to create change, Wisdom to facilitate healing, Wisdom to Love and understand beyond limits.

Ahh.. Sweet Divinity in the face of gut-wrenching trauma. That sweet Divinity is what I live for. I had my birthmark removed which left a lovely scar(for real) and no right eyebrow. All this time, going to doctors appointments, getting shots and needles (NO!) I would scream and throw fits, thrash and kick, rebel. Really throwing tantrums. For a real purpose, though. People were touching my body, I didn’t want them to. I didn’t know how to get them to listen other than to make big noise. I carried the trauma and fear of restraint with me throughout my life. (And I wonder why I was always feeling strapped with cash.) I felt ashamed of my face and insecure about my body. I never understood that my body was mine, someone else always had authority over it. I wanted to hide my face with bangs and avoid doctor visits at all costs.

I lived life on the sidelines for a while. a loooonnnggg while. I went to cosmetology school wanting to make people feel beautiful on the outside. I hoped somehow I could use that outside beauty I saw to feel beautiful myself. I also Loved color and painting color on hair (hint hint into first sparks of creative life inside of me). I became a hairstylist at a prestigious salon and spa in town. If it sounds uppity, it was. All black..Everything. Eventually, even my soul. Sounds depressing, it was! Sounds dramatic? I told you I always have had a knack for it. In this job (and lifestyle around it) I learned how to completely lose myself and fit into a box that I had no business being in. I became burnt out fast. Naturally. I had no passion in my life, let alone the Light. If you’re there right now, or understand this statement at all, you’ve come to the right place.

About a year into this salon&spa nonsense, I realized something. This night I call my pre-awakening. I still remember it clearly, I was sitting in my room alone, on my orange square ottoman, drained from the day, holding my phone to my ear talking with my mom. I said “This isn’t it. There has to be something more.”

That was the spark of wisdom that I stored deep deep deeeeeeep down, ready for me to uncover and see again.

A few days later I found myself sitting in a dirty laundry bin in the spa backroom happening upon a link for Institute for Massage Education. “Huh that’d be pretty cool.” I thought. “Being a Massage Therapist could get me out of needing to be on the floor.” “The floor” to me, is a fancy term for wasting away behind a chair trying hopelessly to please people. (Don’t get me wrong I know there are people out their who adore being a hairstylist. I’m not one of those people.). So I started classes. Boy, it was not what I expected. First of all, in my initial workshop meeting at IME I was picturing classy tall circular tables with black tablecloths and wine glasses. Instead I found myself walking into a large classroom with stackable chairs, a rolling whiteboard, and stained carpet. I LOVED it. This classroom became my sanctuary.

Little by little I started etching away at the block of marble that was me to find a soft, bubbly, anatomy loving quirk of a woman that is me. The previous though of working in the spa where I worked as a hairstylist? Forggedaboutit. After some not so legal completely unethical things went down, it became clear to me that I did not belong there at all. One Tuesday which I’m still proud of today, I quit at the salon, beheld the wrath of mean girls streaming gossip through the halls as I did so. (Imagine that scene in Grease where Riz tells a pink lady she might be pregnant and by the time she gets to Kinickie, he already knows.) I went to two of my old serving jobs and asked for my old jobs back, complete with laid out schedule availability. I got hired on the spot both places, and made it home in time for dinner. I even left the salon on good terms, which is like, impossible in that industry.

I completely immersed myself in the massage training program. I gained vital life skills that helped me stand on my own two feet.(Walking through a sea of mean girls and only shaking slightly. I mean, I could’ve won a Nobel Peace Prize.) I found passion! I learned about soft skills that we don’t always learn about in primary school. I learned about hard skills relating to the Human body and the HealthCare system. All needed to be a great massage therapist.

I grew out those damn bangs. After my final presentation in school on “who I am” I remember a classmate writing on a feedback form “FUCK THOSE BANGS.” That’s how confidently I released those babies. I realized my scar and my experience as a baby shaped me as who I am today and how I show up in the world. I choose massage therapy as a profession because I get to offer people a choice on receiving touch or not. Therapeutic touch. Which is so so healing. I get to support people in feeling beauty within, feeling it all. I get to remind people of their own power. Which is why I’m here and ready to work with you. That we as humans get to decide what works for us and what doesn’t. We get to notice what shows up and share it with who we choose and heal in ways that make sense to us. Not to mention, I’m an anatomy nerd so..muscles! Connective tissue! Bones!

Throughout my initial journey as a Licensed Massage Therapist I realized that serving one passion opens up the door for all passions to want to be expressed. And that a commitment to the work (returning to an embodied being of light) tends to remind me of everything I can do with this life.

So while I kept looking within myself in all the dusty corners; I happened Artist. who woulda thought! not my high school art teacher, I can say that for certain. All those days of color theory and application did pay off, I can blend. And paint! and pour it out! I started using pour painting as an outlet and it has become something of it’s own in my life. Taking shape and offering it’s support in so many ways. It’s a way I can connect with you. It’s a way I can inspire you. And knowing that I can be of service keeps me going every. single. day. It’s a call from within that I get saying “go pour it out.” I take the essence of nature, of photos, of people and do what I do on a canvas and it’s Magic.

Since you’re reading this and have gotten this far, I’m very much looking forward to working with you. If you’ve ever felt powerless within your own body, been afraid to be seen, and/or feel like it’s safer to stay on the sidelines but is desperate for something more, book a session with me. I’d be honored to support you as you continue to uncover the truth about who you are.

Because I truly believe you have a creative side in your mind, a body that heals, and a higher self that is always present to support you. My job here is to support you in seeing that for yourself. In whatever way I can, in whatever way that makes most sense to you. Whether that be through massage therapy, my own art, by attending a workshop, or a mixture of all three. Whatever way you choose, healing and connection be goin’ doooown. (and by down I mean up.)

You can find my massage session pricing by clicking the book a massage session with me button above.